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Sunday, October 30, 2005 

American forces in Iraq invade Syria

American forces in Iraq have launched deadly raids across the border into Syria killing at least two Syrian border guards, according to the Commander in charge of the Syrian side of the border.

The claim comes days after leaks in Washington that US forces have started secret operations in Syria aimed at killing 'jihadists' before they get into Iraq. Apparently, the only deaths so far seem to be those charged with protecting that border.

"Sometimes the US soldiers fire at us every day," said Ibrahim Brahim, a Syrian security official. "Sometimes it's simply a mistake, but sometimes it's not. Mostly the US army wants to show us its power."

Below: a Syrian border guard looks into Iraq

If this is true, it's a message to Assad.

UN turns screw on Syria over assassination riddle
Marie Colvin and Hugh Macleod, Damascus
SYRIA could face far tougher demands than expected tomorrow to compel its regime to co-operate with a United Nations investigation into the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister who had opposed the presence of Syrian troops in his country.

Under the terms of a resolution being hammered out this weekend at UN headquarters, Syria would be required to turn over suspects to international justice or face the possible use of force.

Tape recordings of Syrian and Lebanese officials discussing the car bomb attack that killed Hariri were being cited by diplomats this weekend to put teeth into the draft resolution.

Last week Russia and China, two of the five permanent members of the 15-member security council, said they would vote against sanctions. As the permanent members hold the power of veto, that could have put paid to a punitive resolution, but their opposition appeared to be crumbling yesterday.

Discussions were under way about whether any people identified in the inquiry by Detlev Mehlis, the UN prosecutor investigating the affair, should be subject to a travel ban and should have their assets seized.

“The blood of Rafiq Hariri is not up for sale,” said Saad Hariri, his son, also a Lebanese politician, from Saudi Arabia yesterday.

“It is too early to talk about sanctions while the United Nations is acting to bring individuals to justice for my father’s murder. (But) if there is no other way to ensure co-operation with the investigation, we will not oppose sanctions.”

The tough stance will put Bashar al-Assad, the young Syrian president who inherited a closed, paranoid regime from his father, further on the defensive. He is already under pressure from Washington to stop Islamic fighters crossing from Syria into Iraq.

Assad will now have to weigh the UN demands against the pressures on him in a country that his father ruled with an iron fist but whose inner circle of power he does not seem to have managed to dominate.

Two of the president’s immediate family, Assef Shawkat, his brother-in-law and head of military intelligence, and Mahar Assad, his younger brother and head of the powerful Republican Guards, were named in a leaked version of the report by Mehlis as having planned Hariri’s assassination.

Both names were deleted from Mehlis’s final report to Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, but they are expected to be pursued in any prosecution. Also identified in the inquiry was Rustom Ghazali, the head of Syria’s security services in Lebanon at the time of Hariri’s killing.

The report said that Ghazali planned the political downfall of Hariri with an unnamed “prominent Lebanese official”. Another senior Syrian official who was expected to be named allegedly shot himself in the head rather than face UN censure.

Assad has promised the UN security council that any Syrian proved “by concrete evidence” to have played a role in the assassination will be brought to trial. Yesterday his officials announced that a judicial committee was being set up to investigate the Syrians who had been implicated.

Damascus tried to fight back last week by organising a series of protests, but they fell rather flat. Billed in the state-controlled media as a spontaneous outpouring of national pride by hundreds of thousands, television could not hide the fact that fewer than 10,000 people, mostly state employees or members of the Ba’ath party students’ union, took to the streets.

The protest was anything but spontaneous. “I am here to stand for my country against US pressure,” said Lara Ali, a young sociology student and Ba’ath party member. Like other users of Syriatel, the mobile network owned by Rami Makhlouf, the president’s first cousin, she admitted that she had received a text message urging her to participate in “a demonstration supporting the national attitude”.

Other demonstrators had an even more ambivalent attitude. “We hate America! We hate America!” shouted a fellow student, before he realised that the television footage might be shown in the West. “I love America! I love America!” he then shouted, to laughs from friends. With that kind of support from supposed regime stalwarts, Assad has a tough week ahead.

Good morning Cambodia; this has nothing to do with the situation here W is getting deeper into the quagmire.

Sorry to contradict the previous speaker but the demonstration was spontaneous as far as me and my fellow students were concerned. Nobody told us to go and some students just chose to go home

anon,if u remove the civil servants they make up less than 100 prostitutes.
99% of the syrian people hate this regime at the bone,even the baathists ,hypocrits and profiteers.

no one in syria will fight for this regime.by prostitutes i mean political and economical prostitutes the same that we see in all similiar regimes.

anon, the Syrian people and the Baath are one. We'll never renounce our Arab nation

syrian people will eat u and your baathi cover, without salt,no forgivness

Did Syria file a complain at the UN about these violation ,if not they should do that immedietly instead of waiting fo the ax to fall on S.yria,s neck

it is an old news .
on 28th october 2005 AP had published a report by ALBERT AJI
told that a syrian soldier has been killed on iraqi border by us troops.

take this link and visit it:

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